Two years after his first album, Alex The Astronaut releases his second, How to grow a sunflower underwater, and shared “Octopus,” a new song that reflects his recent diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
“I was really worried that people would think I was different and wouldn’t know how to be my friend,” Alex told triple j. “It took me a while to get to the point where I realized that a lot of the things I’m good at started with TSA and made me special in some way – if that’s not too cheesy .”
So where does the octopus come from? Well, it turns out they’re ocean geniuses, able to change color to blend in, regrow tentacles, and decorate their homes with seashells.
“Being in lockdown, I was always going snorkeling for an activity to do and I was introduced to this wonderful underwater world. And the octopods were a good way to understand what was going on in my own life,” says Alex. “I saw these special skills they have that make them amazing. Maybe we can all help each other with these special skills and make the world a better place.”
“Octopus” comes with an animated video that “is so cute it should be illegal,” says Alex. “It made my manager cry.” How about the brand. Watch/listen to the wholesome melody below.
From single ‘Not Worth Hiding’ to last year’s ‘Growing Up’, the Sydney singer-songwriter’s calling has always been to make sense of life’s mess in relatable tunes.
That’s what defined his debut album Absolutely Nothing Theory and that’s what she develops for How to grow a sunflower underwater, which Alex co-produced alongside Sam Cromack, Dean and Daniel Hanson of Ball Park Music (who produced his debut album).
“A lot of the songs on the last record were more [rooted in] tell stories and change from first person to other people’s stories,” she told triple j earlier this year. “These are more personal songs.
Coming out the same weekend, she plays Splendor In The Grass (July 22), How to Grow a Sunflower Underwater would weave into everyday moments (get a haircut, go shopping, go to the beach) with Alex’s invigorating lyricism.
Speaking of the title, she explains, “I was thinking about how to sum up all the songs, the sunflower represents hopes and the underwater trade represents how we have to struggle through hard things.”
“I found out growing up that the thing we all need to do is have hope when everything feels underwater, and over the past two years we’ve all had plenty of that.”
See the track list below. Oh, plus a video of Alex getting an octopus tattoo in Los Angeles with his musical mate, Tones And I.
- ‘South London’
- ‘To get on my bike’
- “Be Something Good”
- “Boreal Lights”